We decided to change things up this day and spend some time exploring the city where we were actually staying: Yokohama! Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city, and is located just south of Tokyo, so close that I couldn’t really tell where one ended and the other started. The urban sprawl I could see from the train window made a seamless transition.
Our train ride into the center of town wasn’t quite as long as the past few days which was a nice change. After getting off the train we headed to the famous Yokohama Chinatown. It was a cold, cloudy day so we kept ourselves warm by constantly munching on tasty snacks that were on offer all up and down most of the streets in the area. Our favorites were the sesame balls and chocolate panda bao.
Yokohama has a very scenic harbor area, which would have been lovely to spend some time strolling along if not for the wind whipping in from the sea and cutting straight though all our layers of clothing into the very marrow of our bones. We shuffled across the waterfront, locked in a desperate embrace in an attempt to stay warm, until we arrived at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. This building is an old warehouse that has been converted into an upscale shopping and dining destination. The most attractive feature for us was simply that it was warm inside.
Since we had suffered so much cold to get there we decided that we had earned a warm treat to help bring the feeling back into our fingers. Enter Granny Smith Apple Pie, a little shop serving every variety of apple pie under the sun. We ended up getting a slice of the Dutch Crumble which came with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce and a cup of apple pie spiced coffee. Both were a bit pricier than our typical budget meals, but they were also fantastic (Alana finally admits to liking apple pie!) and I would 100% recommend to anyone wandering around the Yokohama waterfront on a freezing cold not quite spring day.
Feeling refreshed and reinvigorated after our warm sugary treat, we set off to the Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum. The displays in the museum included the invention and evolution of cup noodles, cup noodle varieties from all over the world, and an entertaining short film about the life of Momofuku Ando, the inventor of cup noodles. The highlight of the museum however, was the make your own cup noodles activity. You get to decorate a cup, pick a broth flavor, add your own ingredients, turn some levers to pack everything in, and watch as your noodles are sealed in plastic. Then you are given a absurdly large and inconvenient inflatable carrying case which can be worn around your neck like a purse as you show off your custom cup noodles to everyone else you see that day.
We ate a delicious dinner of udon and tempura at a food court in a mall across the street from the museum. After dinner we wandered around to the Landmark Tower (2nd tallest building in Japan) and decided against going up to the top because it was expensive and still very cloudy. There was a pretty cool light and music display in the Dockyard Garden at the base of the tower. It was getting dark and our noses were only getting runnier, so we decided to call it a night and headed back to the warmth of our cozy little AirBnb.